While pneumonia is ordinarily incapacitating for anyone with it, walking pneumonia is harder to diagnose because anyone with the virus can remain mobile. Pneumonia is passed from person to person through coughing and sneezing. Walking pneumonia is a mild form of pneumonia, which is a bacterial infection of the lung. Walking pneumonia can be mistaken for the common cold, but can progress into something much worse. For this reason, you should learn to diagnose walking pneumonia.
- Skill level:
You will notice symptoms that mimic the common cold that include headache, fever, coughing, and sore throat. In fact, it's common for people to assume they have a cold during the first stages of walking pneumonia.
You may notice that certain common cold symptoms are absent such as runny nose, and sneezing. Take note of the absence of these symptoms, walking pneumonia won't cause sinus pressure or excess mucus to be created as an ordinary cold might.
You may notice that some cold symptoms are more severe than usual. A dry, chest shaking cough, a high fever, or a sickness lasting longer than 4 days without improvement are all signs of a lung infection, and it needs to be treated by a doctor. Curing walking pneumonia requires plenty of rest and prescribed antibiotics.
You may also notice symptoms that are not typical of a common cold. Excessive sweating, chest pain, and nausea or vomiting are all red flags. Some other symptoms you may experience that are not typical of a common cold are skin lesions or rash, eye pain or soreness, muscle aches, joint stiffness, fatigue, fast respiratory rate, ear pain, and swollen lymph nodes in the neck, and skin lesions or rash. See a doctor if you suffer from any of these symptoms.
Tips and warnings
- If you suspect that you have more than a cold, be sure to write down all of your symptoms as they occur.
- Any time your cold symptoms last more than a week, you should visit a doctor.
- Whenever you have symptoms not typical of a cold, you should see a doctor.
- Always see a doctor for a persistent fever.